Monday, 30 March 2015

A Happy Family

Doodles with his parrot

Just a brief update

I know I've been neglecting this blog. I'm sorry for any who have been concerned or wondering about Doodles. I'm happy to announce that Doodles or "the Dood" is a member of our family. He is a wonderful little cat who showers us with affection. Although at times he and Gimli have had a few "spats", they often play in the evenings and share the window while they watch the birds outside. Doodles has become more vocal, he likes to tell us when birds are present or he'll sit by the door calling for one of us. 

His litter eating problem seems a thing of the past. The Purrfect Bistro gluten free food appears to have helped considerably. Doodles still has the need to chew on things but it's not a consistent problem. Gim isn't eating the same food so they have to be fed separately, this is slightly annoying and has resulted in misbehaving on Gimi's part (like picking furniture and attacking us). I hope that in time, with training, Gim will stop attacking us and destroying our furniture. I thought perhaps he needed to be fed a weight loss kibble because he seems fat. After trying to feed him portions we realized he wasn't overeating at all. He's just fat, for no apparent reason lol. I'm guessing because he's older and more inactive then he was when he was a kitten, either way, I hope it doesn't spiral out of control and he ends up like my dad's cat, Moo (over 20 lbs!!!). 

The boys cuddling at Christmas

Gimli being defiant

Friday, 24 October 2014

Snicker Doodles: October Update

How is Doodles?

First I'd like to apologize to anyone who has been wondering what's been going on with us. I haven't posted anything recently because we were facing some health issues with Doodles. Toward the end of September we noticed Doodles was trying to eat his litter, which is a serious health concern as the clumping components in litter can cause blockages in the intestine. If this happens cats can become very ill and if not treated it could even be fatal. We did have confirmation that he had a large blockage, after given an enema he was able to pass the stool and go the bathroom regularly. The vet also provided him with a hypo-allergenic food, as we had concerns the blockage may have stemmed from a food allergy or vitamin deficiency. It's been a few weeks since we've had him back home and his health has improved. He's coming off of his laxative so his stool should improve. We're trying both him and Gimli on a grain-free food, in case Doodles has a gluten allergy. We've noticed scabs on Doodles ears, even though we've never seen him scratch, this is usually indicative of skin irritation or an allergy. His skin has also been red and patchy.

Looking back at our timeline we realized that in early September we switched him to a newer version of his Royal Canin food, we wonder if he developed an allergic reaction to it. We will continue to test him on this new food and hope to see an improvement. We did find him attempting to eat his paper litter (a safer alternative to clumping litter) which means if he had access to clay he would definitely eat it. Fingers crossed things get better for us!! This has been a very frustrating and disheartening experience for us, all we want is to see little Doodles get better.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Snicker Doodle and Gimli Updates

A Good Summer

Summer is passing by very quickly and progress has been good for Doodles! Our goal to keep him out of the fridge has been successful, he doesn't even bother with it. Although Doodles is still somewhat skittish around me, he has made great improvements within the home. We are able to pick him up now. He is bonded with my fiance and is most comfortable with him completing this task, but Doodles is warming up to me. I can scoop him up off the ground if need be. It's only a matter of time before he's associating it with positive things like treats and cuddles. He is still attempting to pick furniture. This problem is few and far between but it seems to be a social thing, he only does it when he's nearby and wanting cuddles, hence the reason we're trying to pick him up more. He knows he has scratching posts, he's not doing it to pick, he's doing it because he's happy. One negative thing, which seemed to spring upon us, is Doodles' need to bite things. It's almost as though he's suffering from pica. He bit right through my purse handles, which works out okay because the straps are being replaced, but it's still disconcerting. I can't leave my purse unattended with him. I'm worried this obsession will shift to shoes...which are plenty and very dear in this house. Right now we're keeping things locked up away from him and trying to deflect his attention onto his toys.

Gimli has improved since my last post. It seems his cold has subsided, it took a long time but he is better now. He might have injured his neck as some point, a week ago he just started to pull off his collar. I let it stay off for a few days to see if maybe he just needed time to heal (although there was no apparent wound, abrasion or bug bite). I tried a new collar on him and had the same results. He appears to be scared or annoyed by it. He hunkers down as though he's unhappy and then, to my disappointment, he pulls it off. I'm practicing with him to get used to wearing a collar again. He's worn one for a year without issue, I'm not sure why this is a problem now.

Aside from the minor complaints things have gone well here. Gimli and Doodles get along much better. Gim tends to be a little more laid back, whereas Doodles is a very active and playful cat. Poor Gim will stop playing with me if he knows Doodles is around. We've had to put time aside to play with the cats separately, just so Gimli gets his playtime too. This isn't to say that they don't play together, it's a nightly routine that they chase each other through the house at high speeds. They also love to watch the squirrels and chipmunks together. In the hot afternoons they can often be found together snoozing in the cat tree. I think we're all looking forward to dry warm days and not so many hot humid ones!
: )

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Snicker Doodle: Observations

Observing Snicker Doodles' Behavior

As you can see from the photograph above, Doodles has settled very nicely into our home. His confidence has grown in leaps and bounds. I have made some important observations about his personality. I believe this may help a potential adoptive family to better understand him.

Getting to know Doodles

  • Doodles does not like loud noises or rapid and excessive movements, therefore, I believe he would be better suited to a home without small children or dogs.
  • Doodles is strictly an indoor cat.
  • He has very good litter habits.
  • He is a hearty eater and is highly energetic.
  • Doodles enjoys looking outside windows or relaxing in his favorite chair.
  • He is comfortable being a lap cat and enjoys being cuddled.
  • Given that he has a shy and often skittish disposition it is advisable that he be adopted into a mature home with someone who understands his behavior.
  • Doodles adores toys of all kinds. He particularly likes the laser pen and toys with feathers on them.
  • Doodles does very well with other cats.
  • He will allow you to trim his claws when he is relaxed and cuddly.
  • He can be left unattended at night, he is confident with his surroundings.
  • He knows to stay off the dining table and counter tops (unlike Gimli).
  • He is okay with new people. My brother babysat him on the weekend and said Doodles is very affectionate cat. Doodles has only seen my brother once before for a few minutes, this is huge progress! 

What we're working on

  • Doodles hates his carrier. We are currently training him to be more comfortable with the carrier but have had little success thus far.
  • Doodles strongly dislikes being picked up. This poses a particular issue because sometimes you need to pick your cat up. We're trying our best to get him accustom to being picked up and held but he gets scared and squirms a lot.
  • He likes the fridge a little too much. Every time we open the door he's in there, we are discouraging this behavior.

That's all I have for now. I hope in the future those last few things will be worked through. Doodles is a special cat who requires love and patience. I know in time he'll overcome those few obstacles. : ) 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Happy Birthday Gimli!

Special Memories

It's hard to believe my kitty is growing up so fast. : ) I remember when I brought him home, he was just a sweet little ball of fur! Now he's triple the size of his baby toys. I have so many awesome memories of when he was a kitten. He used to be very vocal. I recall him "yelling" at me all the time whether it was for milk, play or cuddles. As an adult, he isn't as talkative as he used to be but he's so much more affectionate. Gimli really is becoming a relaxed adult cat and I thought it would take ages to get to this point!

We have a very strong bond. : ) I used to sing him lullabies when he was a kitten and if I sing one to him now it still lulls him to sleep!

Gimli with his octopus - it used to be the same size as him! 

Happy Birthday my love!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Snicker Doodle: Day 28

 Sweet dreams

I would love to say that these two slept beside each other for the majority of the afternoon but I'd be lying. After I took the picture Gimli got up and left. : P I'm happy to see Doodles trying to get closer to Gimli with each passing day. Gimli has been feeling a little under the weather and he's trying to manage a hairball (he's never really had one before). Each time he starts to cough he gets a little freaked out. I gave him some malt medicine, which he loves, and I've seen some improvement. Today he is very tired. I'm hoping he'll feel better soon. I was keeping a fold out mattress in the sewing room in case I needed to sleep with Doodles at night. Gimli instantly fell in love with it. I folded it up and moved it into the office where it now acts as a giant cat bed. This afternoon I came in to find Gimli sleeping on it and Doodles attempting as best he could to cuddle up to him. Too bad for Doodles! Gimli, being grumpy as usual, decided to bite poor Doodles' ankles until he left. I'm sure in time he'll be more open to the idea of cuddling with another cat but for now Gimli prefers to keep a distance of at least ten inches. 

Monday, 30 June 2014

Snicker Doodle: Day 20

Good friends

It's been almost three weeks since we've taken Snicker Doodle on as our foster kitty. We now affectionately refer to him as "Doodles". Doodles, who once feared even the slightest noise, has gained enough confidence to wander the house unsupervised. He has developed a good friendship with our cat Gimli and the two spend the greater portion of the day chasing one another around. You would think they were brothers if it wasn't for the difference in appearance and size. However, it wasn't all good in the beginning, initially Gimli did not take to the idea of another cat in our home. There have been a few cat fights but having grown up around cats, I have to say they haven't been that bad; a few yowls and tackling but nothing damaging. 

When Gimli first met Doodles he was not a happy camper. Of course he was a little curious but mostly he kept to higher ground in order to observe the new cat. This worked well considering at that time Doodles remained entirely on the ground level, not even jumping up to explore. There was an obvious division between Gimli's space and Doodles'. As shown in the photograph to the right, Gimli would sit in my sewing room chair and eyeball Doodles from a safe distance. Their first encounters were often kept brief because I was well aware of the tension between the two cats. Doodles was more than happy to see another cat and walked right up to Gimli without hesitation. On our first day we used Gimli to coax Doodles out from hiding and to help him gain confidence in his new environment. Gimli gave him a couple of warnings with a few growls and light batting, but Doodles would come right back purring and rubbing up against him. Each encounter became less intense and Gimli grew to trust Doodles. Now, Gimli can eat side by side, out of the same dish as Doodles. 

There are few fights for dominance every now and again. Gimli doesn't appreciate his "office" being used by Doodles. I've seen him chase Doodles out a few times. These last couple of nights I've been woken up by cat fights although I'm not sure if they're of an aggressive or playful nature; at 4 am I don't stay to find out, I just separate them. From what I have seen it appears to be all in good fun. Yesterday evening the two cats were playfully chasing one another around the house (at high speeds). They also enjoy play fighting over who gets the cat tree... even though it has two levels, which neither has figured out yet. Before I left for my vacation, I discovered the two boys sleeping together, which really touched my heart. I was happy to see that Gimli had made a friend (something I had hoped for ever since moving out from my parents house, because Gimli was raised around other cats).

Gimli is certainly not the only one to benefit from this friendship. I know if it hadn't been for Gimli, Doodles would have never left the sewing room and it would have taken twice as long for him to get accustom to us and our home. Doodles has made amazing progress! He still gets a little jumpy if you move too quickly or if there's a loud noise, but he's far more trusting than he was in the beginning. He will often seek us out for attention because he loves to be pet. He's the most affectionate cat I've met. He loves to play with toys, which initially he was too scared to do with us, but now he engages us for play. He's brave enough to go into the basement and use the downstairs cat tree which makes me very happy to see. Perhaps the most successful news is that he has begun to jump up on our bed or couch to cuddle us, and yes this means he is becoming a lap cat!